Pubdate: Thu, 08 Aug 2013
Source: Garden Island (Lihue, HI)
Copyright: 2013 The Garden Island
Author: Pamela Lichty
Page: A4


Your report on Keith Kamita's presentation to the Kauai Chamber of
Commerce brings back "Reefer Madness." Mr. Kamita, head of the state
Narcotics Enforcement Division, employs exaggeration and fear mongering.

He asserts that marijuana used to be 1 to 4 percent THC (a
psychoactive component), but it's now 15 to 20 percent. The "Drug
Czar's" office, says current potency levels are 10 percent. Kamita
states there are 2,000 chemicals in marijuana.

This is both inaccurate (there are 400) and irrelevant: coffee has
more than 1,000.

THC is not inherently harmful. Prescription Marinol, is 100 percent
synthetic THC. Even if today's marijuana were as powerful as Kamita
says, people would use less with less potential for lung damage.

He is out of touch stating we should be as concerned with marijuana as
with meth. In a 2013 poll, 76 percent of Hawaii voters agreed that,
"Compared to possession of marijuana, ice and violence are much bigger
crimes. Our police should spend more time/resources going after
violent crime or hard drugs."

We agree that synthetic marijuana and other "designer drugs" are far
more harmful than marijuana. But it's impossible to keep up with the
influx of new drugs: "Every time a new drug comes out I have to
research it and schedule it. Then they change the drug ... and I have
to make the whole family illegal again."

Mr. Kamita is so enthusiastic about this part of his job, that he
often declares drugs illegal even before the DEA does so. Is this how
people here want our tax dollars spent?

Pamela Lichty

- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt